Whether you are an online store manager, or a startup website owner or a seasoned blogger or simply a developer, when you own a website, there are a plethora of things you need to take care of. Starting with the host to the domain name, the design and the infrastructure, everything needs to be near perfect to grab the attention of users, enhance visibility and generate revenue.
Apart from the above, there is one more aspect that you need to be cautious about while working on your Woocommerce website and that is the speed of the Woocommerce website. Woocommerce (or even WordPress for that matter, as Woocommerce is after all an e-commerce extension of WordPress) website speed is nothing but the response time or the time taken to load the website after a user sends a request to the browser.
It is a common trend where users abandon websites that take more than 3 seconds to load. Hence, working on speed optimization is more of a necessity for website owners. If you are a Woocommerce website owner and worried about your Woocommerce (or WordPress) website speed, this is the right place for you.
We outline 15 tips you can follow when planning to enhance the speed of your Woocommerce website. But before delving into the details, let’s have a quick idea of why you should optimize your WooCommerce website speed and how does a poor speed affect your website.
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Website speed is one such factor that has an enormous impact on the overall performance of the website. According to a case study conducted by Aberdeen Group, it was seen that a one-second delay in page load speed reduces the conversion rate by 7% for some of the top tier industries (Amazon, Google, and others). This further accounts for 11% lesser number of page views, and a 16% reduction in customer satisfaction rate.
In fact, Amazon lost $1.6 billion in sales when the load speed of the page got delayed by one second. And, this is just the trailer. The repercussions of poor speed are many. It is imperative to optimize the website and increase speed.
If you are still skeptical, find below the reasons why speeding up the website in need.
The type of host and the hosting plan you choose for your website has a profound impact on the speed of the same. Given the fact there are different kinds of hosting services, each comes with a bed of features, functionality, and specifications.
Depending on the needs of a website, you would need to pick the ideal one.
Imagine that you started with a shared hosting plan but today, your website is experiencing huge traffic, this plan would not map your requirements and it is best to upgrade and look for a plan that offers as much bandwidth is needed to serve your users seamlessly. Also, keep a check on the uptime provided by the host.
One of the most lauded advantages of WordPress and Woocommerce is its ability to add any feature to the website using easily installable plugins. Even though plugins are an important part of any Woocommerce website, you have to restrict the usage to a minimum and also need to be very careful in choosing the ones that need to be included. As a poorly coded plugin can really affect the website’s performance, or can even make the whole website vulnerable to cyber attacks, you have to choose plugins only from developers that are reliable. One easy way to find reliable plugin developers is to look at the downloads of their previous plugins and also to look through the reviews they have on WordPress.org plugin directory. As there are thousands of Woocommerce plugins available, finding the right plugin from the right Woocommerce plugin development company is the real key to a fast loading website.
Caching is an excellent way to deal with your website speed performances. It is based on the notion where static content of the website is saved in a temporary location and every time a request is placed, the files are fetched from the cached location instead of the original location. This reduces the time needed to locate files in the database and retrieve them, accelerating the speed of the website. All you need to do is download and install a WordPress cache plugin within your WooCommerce website.
The reason why pages take a long time to load is attributed to the images or files that get unloaded with the site. As it appears, uploading a page is analogous to downloading 2.2 MB of data. It is but obvious that it would take considerable time to load. One way to deal with this is to optimize the images embedded within the site. You can use optimization and compression tools to do the same.
CDN is a combination of multiple servers that are distributed across different locations to speed up the pace of content delivery. It acts like a proxy server, storing all of the static content and easing the access of the same by users at distant locations.
WordPress is unquestionably popular and the presence of a pool of plugins and themes is what accounts for the above. Now, themes can definitely decorate the appearance of the website, but heavy themes take time to load. It is advised that you opt for a framework that is both solid feature-packed and light in weight. You can check out the various templates available online to set up your online store or you can even hire an experienced Woocommerce custom theme developer who can design and develop a website exclusively for you.
It is the first place where your visitors stop and it is important to keep it light so that users can scour your page without having to wait for an indefinite time. Quick tips include replacing full posts with excerpts, minimizing content on the page, keeping as many widgets as needed and emphasizing having a clean homepage.
Another effective way of turbo-charging your Woocommerce website is by optimizing the database. There is a range of plugins that would do the job for you and you can skillfully hand over this tedious task on to them. WP-DB Manager is one of the widely used database optimization plugins that does all to remove unwanted data and speed up the interaction between the server and the database.
If you are a developer, you would have a better idea of what we are about to state. When writing codes, it is best practice to embed comments, name variables and align spacing. Now, this might be beneficial for the developer, it is an overhead when it comes to serving user requests. Reading unnecessary files consumes a lot of time, increasing the response time of the same. It’s better to avoid the above and limit your script size and remove all comments and unwanted spaces.
Using outdated plugins or themes tend to slow the speed of the website, let alone the security gaps they create. Always keep a check on the version of the plugins installed and update them as and when needed.
Pingbacks and Trackbacks are some features that notify users rather than the blogs when they are interlinked with a different one. However, the recent trend has seen these being used by spammers. It’s best to disable them and improve the website load speed.
Every time you edit a page, a copy is saved infinitely. No matter how many revisions you make, there is a copy created for each. This affects the page speed. Hence, change the settings and limit page revisions to a specific count.
Hearing from your viewers and readers is excellent. However as more and more comments flood the page, it reduces the speed of the page. Move to Settings –> Discussion and check the ‘Break comments into pages’ box to optimize the above.
Socializing is definitely a trend but as many calls as you integrate, you add to the time taken to load the page. Limit your accounts on the landing page.
Embedding videos are an excellent way to keep your users engaged but when your website is suffering from speed and performance issues, it is best to avoid uploading them, until and unless it is of paramount importance.
Finally, keep a check on the speed of your website. You can use speed optimization tools to test the website performance, look for gaps and then take necessary measures to optimize it.
Regardless of whether you are a novice with a novel approach or an expert in the industry, website speed is something none can compromise. And improving it is the only thing you can do.
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